Astronomy Night August 2019



Astronomy Night, Saturday, August 31 Henry Coe State Park, Morgan Hill



For those of you who have ever wondered what is out there...and would like to have a look yourself. We’ll look at galaxies, planets, stars being born, supernova remnants, dying stars, double stars, etc.

[Pictures taken by Dirk De Mol at Henry Coe Park]

Where: Henry Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, about 15 miles south of San Jose on U.S. Highway 101. Take the East Dunne Avenue. Turn left at the stoplight, and cross over 101. Youʹll be heading east and climbing into the hills through residential areas for the first three miles. At the top of the first ridge of hills, when you come to a Y in the road, look for a sign that says ʺHenry W. Coe State Park, 10 miles.ʺ Youʹll bear right at the Y. The road crosses a bridge and follows alongside Anderson Reservoir for a ways. Then it turns into a narrow, winding, scenic mountain road. About .5 miles before the entrance of the park, there is a large parking lot on the right, right in the middle of a sharp left turn. It has a large steel gate that is usually closed but not locked. We’ll get together in that parking lot. People who don’t plan on staying late should park close to the gate with the car pointed towards the road (so you don’t blind people with your headlights when leaving the site). Count on about 30 minutes driving from Morgan Hill, 1 hour from San Jose and about 2 hours from downtown San Francisco. GPS coordinates: [37.187504,-121.551085]

When: Saturday night, August 31. The sun sets at 7:38PM. Please try to be there around or before sunset. Astronomers don’t like cars driving up with headlights on after dark! After set up of the telescope(s), we will start looking at Jupiter and Saturn. It will be dark enough for “deep sky” objects at 9:00PM. Count on staying till at least 10:30PM.

Special Events: This is a great time to watch Jupiter and its moons and Saturn and its rings. We also should be able to see Uranus.. Early in the evening, the Milky Way with the many star clusters and star forming regions will show up.

What to bring: warm clothes. It can get chilly on the ridge and you’re not moving. Some drinks and snacks, especially if you plan on staying for a while. A flashlight with a red plastic or brown paper bag cover (to protect your night vision). Binoculars if you have them.

Equipment: a 20 cm computer controlled Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. If any other members have a telescope or binoculars, please bring it too!

Optional camping: for those people who don’t like the drive back to the Bay Area that same night, there is an option to camp at the park. For reservations and more info: check out the park’s website at or call them at 408-779-2728. Reservations are recommended. Please let Dirk know if you plan on camping.

Sign-up: there is no cost associated with this event but you must sign up. The group will be limited to 15 people unless there will be more telescopes.. First come first serve and priority for members! To sign up, email Dirk De Mol at

Children are encouraged to come too (they usually have the best questions!) but they don’t really enjoy an event like this under the age of 10. Also, be aware that there will be other astronomers too and they don’t like kids running around and kicking up dust. Obviously, this event will be cancelled in case of rain or clouds. If it isn’t clear what the weather will be, please call Dirk at (408) 910 7541 that Saturday till about noon to confirm.

For those interested, we can have a group dinner in Morgan Hill from 5:30-7:00 pm. We’ll arrange that once the group is known.

August 31st, 2019 7:00 PM   through   September 1st, 2019 12:00 PM
Henry Coe State Park
Morgan Hill, CA
United States
Event Info
Date August 31, 2019

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